Azerbaijan, Baku, April 18 / Trend E. Mehdiyev /
Baku has commented on the statement of U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Thomas Melia, who said that the Azerbaijani leadership is incorrectly informed about the activity of the National Democratic Institute.
"The Azerbaijani authorities do not possess enough information about the activity of the Institute, its implemented projects in the country," Head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Social and Political Department Ali Hasanov told Trend on April 18. "It means that the Institute has not informed the society about its work appropriately and in accordance with the requirements of Azerbaijani legislation." Some projects of the Institute are not disclosed or the necessary accounting documents are not submitted to the relevant bodies in connection with its activity. Therefore, I think the ambiguity of opinions formed in the Azerbaijani society regarding the National Democratic Institute as natural."
"The Institute does not provide accurate and transparent information about its activities," he said. "There are certain unclear points in the information on the website of the Institute, its reports to the Justice Ministry, the reports on financial issues to other bodies."
"Currently, the state agencies are examining the Institute's activity," he said. "If nothing illegal, contradicting the Azerbaijani laws and an agreement between the Azerbaijani government and this Institute is revealed, it means that the Institute will continue operating in Azerbaijan."
"In general, Baku respects the mission of the National Democratic Institute, its propaganda on democracy worldwide, which is one of the main principles of the U.S. foreign policy, which corresponds with the Azerbaijani state policy," he said.
It was earlier reported that Azerbaijani Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov has appealed to the U.S. ambassador in the country, Richard Morningstar, in connection with the activity of the representative office of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Azerbaijan.
According to Garalov's statement, as a result of the investigation conducted by prosecution bodies, it was revealed that the Azerbaijani laws on 'Non-governmental organisations (public associations and foundations)', 'State Registration of Legal Entities and State Register' and 'Grants' were violated while the NDI representative office was operating in Azerbaijan.
Moreover the NDI violated the conditions of the 'Rules about the form, content and order of submitting the annual financial report of non-governmental organisations', approved by the decision of the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers dated December 25, 2009.
According to the appeal, NDI offices and regional information centres which were not registered in an appropriate manner and not accredited in Baku, Ganja, Tovuz, Shirvan, Yevlakh, Sheki, Khachmaz and Jalilabad issued grants until July 23, 2012 and have not submitted annual financial reports to the relevant executive bodies after the reporting period was over.
It was also found out that head of the representative office Alex Grigoriev took $1.007 million in cash from an account opened at the International Bank of Azerbaijan, without providing information on the purpose of its use from March 2, 2010 to December 13, 2012.